Some folks have the impression that the only evidence for the Christian faith is the Bible itself (along with other Christian sources, of course). Skeptics suggest that this evidence can’t be trusted because the writers are biased in favor of the Christian message.
It is true that only few references to Christian origins have
been located outside the Bible and the Christian church. This should
not surprise us; after all, documents available today are only a
fraction of what was written then, a fairly random selection at that.
Remember too, the early stages of the Christian movement were quite
obscure and certainly “low profile.” These events occurred in a
forgettable province on the eastern edge of the
Even so, more than a dozen non-Christian (Roman, Greek and Jewish) sources refer to Christian origins. Writers include ancient historians such as Tacitus, Suetonius, and Thallus, Jewish sources such as Josephus and the Talmud, Roman government officials such as Pliny the Younger and Emperor Trajan, and the Greek writer Lucian. Combine these sources and the reader has ample confirmation of the historical picture presented in the Bible.
The following writers are discussed (click on links for more information):
Summary of the Non-Christian Testimonies
In the words of Dr. Gary Habermas:
“Overall, at least seventeen non-Christian writings record more than fifty details concerning the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, plus details concerning the earliest church. Most frequently reported is Jesus’ death, mentioned by twelve sources. Dated approximately 20 to 150 years after Jesus’ death, these secular sources are quite early by the standards of ancient historiography.”
These writings confirm first of all that Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Christ or Christus, was a historical person. And He performed miracles, led disciples and was worshiped as God. The non-Christians also mention that He was a good teacher or sage (philosopher) and that His teachings included conversion, denial of other gods, meetings and fellowship and life after death. Lastly, there are multiple confirmations of Jesus’ crucifixion under Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius and the claims of His followers that He was still alive.
Additionally Flavius Josephus also confirms the existence of more than half a dozen New Testament people and various events described in the Scriptures. His confirmations include the deaths of John the Baptist and James, the brother of Jesus. From the Roman and Greek writers we learn additional details about the early spread of Christianity and how the first century world reacted to the fast growing faith.
Read on about: (2) Testimony of Flavius Josephus
 Dr. Gary Habermas in Why I Am a Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe (2001), page 150.
Read on about: The Honesty of the Witnesses.
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